General Question

emissary's avatar

What's the underlying meaning of constantly yearning for someone's acknowledgement?

Asked by emissary (22points) February 12th, 2010

About 5 years ago, I met a man where I worked that made a drastic impression on me. I thought I was in love with him, but I am not sure. This was not the nicest man… somewhat misogynistic, vain, a womanizer… I am not attracted to people like that except with this one person. When first meeting him, I could not stand him. I also felt a very strong chemistry between us that made me extremely uncomfortable. I went out of my way to avoid him, but after a few months this man started seeking me out. I do believe he is controlling and has mommy issues and also believe that he may have been looking for a friend in me. Gradually, I started having feelings for him and one day out of the blue I realized that I wanted this man in my life for the rest of my life and thought that he should be in a romantic way. A very weird feeling as I’ve never felt anything like that for anyone else before or since.

Anyway, he would often do a lot to get my attention: constantly moving his seat to be near me, texting me and asking me what I was doing, calling me and talking about various things. This man would say things like “oh, we should get married,” “do you want a spring wedding or a fall wedding,” “we should have children,” etc. That said, this man NEVER said that he liked me. One oddity is that at one point at about 5 months into us knowing each other, he texted me and said “I can’t stop thinking about you.” This scared me so I did not answer right away and wound up saying something sarcastic to shut him down. I felt the same way about him… I could not stop thinking about him – it was obsessive to the point of ridiculousness… and it made me extremely uncomfortable.

6 months after meeting him I summoned up enough courage and I told him that I liked him. He said he did not see me that way… he only saw me as a friend. I was devastated.

We had a very bad falling out 4 years ago. He had decided to date my supervisor where we both worked (lol – oh the drama). I was so devastated that I talked to a friend at work about it (i know, big mistake), told this friend not to say anything because it was a delicate situation and he told! The supervisor wound up leaving about 4 weeks later to work somewhere else. Within that 4 weeks, this man started texting me again, asking what I was doing, saying that he missed me (i had changed my schedule to the night shift so that I would not have to deal with him). I did not feel comfortable responding the same way because he was still seeing the supervisor. All of a sudden, this man rips into me via text message and starts calling me a liar, telling me that he never had feelings for me (i think he was trying to save face for his girlfriend at the time).

Here is my concern: I have not spoken to this man in 4 years, I found a sweetheart of a man and married him and we are not expecting our first child… I live clear across the country from the state in which this happened… yet, I have thought about this man almost every single day for 4 years. No worries—would never leave my husband or any silliness like that. What I do yearn for, though, is acknowledgment from this guy. I cannot understand why this man has meant so much to me, why I constantly think about him, why I feel a huge need to hear from him, etc. I know that a relationship with him would NEVER have worked – he is too much of a womanizer and has too many issues. Still, the thought of this man haunts me unconditionally. I even constantly dream about him and these dreams are not sexual in nature. It is usually me noticing that he is always around me in some type of setting and trying to get my attention for some reason… usually in a negative way (which is often what he used to do at work).

Why do I feel like I need acknowledgment from this man after all of these years? Where could this obsessive view come from and how do I get rid of it? Why is this man still so important to me?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

partyparty's avatar

Could it simply be that you always want what you can’t have?

I know this seems cruel, but I think we have all felt this way at times.

Go on with your life, concentrate on your husband and new baby.

Time will heal.

ucme's avatar

Two words self esteem. Or the lack there of.

candide's avatar

…or self-discipline. You obviously know what’s best and how to be smart, so don’t sell yourself short when you find your thoughts and feelings wandering to this man who you should just forget. Exercise some control; be master of your thoughts and emotions, and not their puppet – hard work, no easy task, but certainly worth the effort!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

He’s not important to you except as a challenge. The only person he’s capable of loving is himself; he used you to serve his own emotional needs. He’s not worth the thought you’re giving him.

People seem to have a fascination with challenging people, and have fantasies that they are going to be “the one” that these people will actually love more than they love themselves. It will never happen. You will never ever be the person who can make another person be different. When that happens, it’s accidental.

Don’t give idea of this guy permission to ruin your life. You will never sweep him off his feet, and cause him to put your interests ahead of his own. That only happens in bodice-ripper romance novels. In real life, it’s only by accident.

marinelife's avatar

He did a wonderful job of tying you up emotionally.

He only wanted you in his entourage.

If you look at the pattern, he only went after you when you had somewhat broken away from him.

He represents something to your subconscious, likely it is your own poor self-esteem that cause this yearning.

The best thing that you can do is seek therapy to resolve these issues.

While you are yearning quietly, wasting time on this man who is not giving you a single thought, you are taking away from your primary relationship, which should be with your husband.

janbb's avatar

Not an easy situation to be in; I feel for you. Sometimes, people can give you all the good advice in the world and you know it yourself, but it takes a while to be able to act on it. Meanwhile, be kind to yourself, accept your feelings and try not to dwell on them too much.

Oh – and welcome to Fluther! This is a great place to come for support.

partyparty's avatar

@janbb That is such a caring answer.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We’ve all got skeletons like that in our closets – and some of ‘em don’t stay dead! He was a manipulative ass, you know this – talking about those subjects and then saying he only saw you as a friend – ugh. Anyway, life will bring you together again, perhaps, and then you can show him your family and smile and say ‘hey, how’s life been treating you? because it’s been treating me great!’ and walk away.

DrMC's avatar

This person ruined your life once. That was enough. Now he could really ruin your life.

Make it clear to him, that you are happily married, and you want it to stay that way. If anything spooks you even the slightest, tell him that you see him as a threat to your happiness and marriage – which he is.

He is a candy coated scorpion. leave him on the ground, better yet, step on him, before he stings someone else.

You might be lured into thinking it wont matter, but if this is unrequited love – why risk your child’s future, over something that already failed before.

softone's avatar

You sound like a very intelligent woman, but our emotions don’t always respond to our brain (as you know). Maybe you should seek therapy if this keeps annoying you. It might be something you need to work through. Anyway, thanks for posting your question. I don’t understand it either, but I’m in a somewhat similar situation with a man long distance. He’s not married and I’m now divorced because I was in a emotionally abusive marriage. I keep wanting men that seem to want me and then reject me coldly. I don’t know why I attract this type of person, and why I keep wanting to hang on. I’m a smart woman too, but my heart and brain aren’t in sync. Time will tell. I’m still looking for a good partner, but haven’t found one yet. I’m emotionally drained, and hurting. I’m happy that you have a loving husband and a new baby. Congratulations and enjoy them both.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther